It’s officially summer, and for the first time in many years, I will be away from the dry desert heat of Jordan. Don’t get me wrong, I love that kind of weather. It’s the best kind in my opinion, perfect for getting a tan, and no humidity to ruin perfectly blown out hair . I will definitely miss those trips to Aqaba, the Dead Sea, and Wadi Rum. At the same time, I am ready to experience a summer of no sleep, in the city that never sleeps.
Currently, I am trying to find a concert or show to attend in the next few months, preferably at Madison Square Garden, an experience that I hear is incomparable to any other concert venue. The two main events being advertised right now are appearances to be made by Justin Bieber and Madonna in November. While I have to admit I do find some of Bieber’s songs to be annoyingly catchy, seeing Madonna at Madison Square Garden would be amazing. I grew up listening to her songs, and the fact that she’s still going makes me feel young.
While reading about her tour, I decided to see how her concert went in Abu Dhabi, and that unraveled a wide range of opinions. Her tardiness was excusable I guess. Arabs are almost always late! At least in my family, five minutes usually translate into thirty. However, it was Madonna’s outfits and racy dance moves that were met with sharp negative criticism from some UAE residents and audience members. This is not so shocking when one realizes that Madonna’s concert overlaps with a new movement in UAE.
This movement, that has been growing and spreading on Twitter, addresses dress codes around the country. I’ve been to the UAE a few times. Dubai, particularly, is definitely an international city, bringing together people from around the world to experience all the majestic things it has to offer. The movement on twitter, #UAEDressCode, was started by two young women after a trip to a local mall, where they noticed that many women (particularly expats) were not dressed modestly, wearing clothing that exposed much of their legs and shoulders. Asma Al Muhair and Hanan Al Rayes believe that a respect for the nation’s culture, traditions, and religion should be maintained by both locals and expats alike.
I definitely support Al Muhair and Al Rayes’ movement. No matter how much a nation develops and changes, I believe that a commitment to its true historical and cultural roots is necessary. In a nation like the UAE, with many people from different backgrounds, I don’t think that’s too much to ask for! In the case of Madonna’s outfits and dance moves though, I think the context allows for some leniency. Plus, it’s not like anyone was forced to go. Fans of hers know that she can get quirky while entertaining live, and most look forward to what she has planned. With that being said, I know that some restraint on her part would’ve been applauded by her fans in the Arab World.
I’m still looking for some summer concerts to attend, whether they be at Madison Square Garden or another venue. Maybe I’ll discover a star on the rise! Suggestions are welcomed and appreciated!
For the latest on Asma and Hanan’s movement, be sure to check out #UAEDressCode.
Here’s to a great summer!